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Starseed

Since Hubs and I both work from home, our plan when we decided to have a child was to have them always be with us. For the most part, that’s been the case. While we wrote, or did projects, or cooked, or worked in the garden or the chicken coop, our little guy has always been in a sling, on our hips, crawling around on the ground, or, now, walking beside us. And it’s worked. Until lately.

Huxley wants to be outside. All. The. Time. His name means “Outdoorsman”, so, it makes sense, really. That said, when I’m trying to meet a pending December 1st deadline for the manuscript of my new book, continually heading outside to watch Huxley as he plays doesn’t really fit into my super crammed schedule.

When we learned last summer that a newly emerging eco-community called Sacred Mountain Sanctuary had developed quite literally on the mountain ridge behind our house, we were ecstatic. We looked forward to the gatherings the community intended to host, as well as the like-minded folks we might meet. And then, we learned a few months ago about a toddler program SMS had in the works.

For the past few Tuesdays, from 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Huxley and Hubs have bundled up and headed over to Starseed. I get a few hours of alone time to write, Hubs gets some time with the little one, and Huxley gets some time with other children. The best part, though, has got to be the fact that the entire program takes place outdoors. That’s right-rain, snow, mud, these kids are out in it. Of course, that means careful planning on the part of the educators and parents alike, for both the curriculum and the proper attire. Colder weather and a rugged terrain mean warm coats, layers of clothes that can be peeled off should ecstatic splashing in the natural spring on the property occur (and it does, believe me!), and sturdy boots, for the kiddos and the adults.

Each session begins with a collaboratively assembled and prepared pot of soup placed over an outdoor fire. Then the Starseeds, their parents, and the teacher, Ms. Tiffany, head out into the forest to explore and learn. Later, everyone returns to eat soup, and then hear a story and perhaps do a craft.

Yesterday, the group also participated in planting a patch of goldenseal on the property, to be enjoyed in upcoming years by the residents. I love the idea of these young minds, digging, planting, and growing, right there along with the whole wide (and wild!) world. I admit, it was really hard letting him go, being out there in the woods. Of course, his Papa is there along with him, but, other moms, you know what I’m talking about. But letting go, more and more everyday, is really what parenting teaches us, isn’t it? Give them what they need, and they’ll get the confidence to go out into the world and flourish.

6 Responses to Starseed

  • Li says:

    What an awesome program! Our son goes to Kindergarten at the Maple Ridge Environmental School, which is an almost entirely outside k-8 public school (they are outside 90%) of the year, full days. Our son has only had 1 day inside so far this year, and let me tell you, its awesome! Here’s the link to the school..perhaps this program could eventually grow into one similar to ours! http://es.sd42.ca/ Enjoy:)

  • Rachael says:

    That program sounds incredible! I love the soup idea.

  • EcoGrrl says:

    This is so beautiful. I can feel the quiet and the connection. Amazing. Thank you.

  • Hollie says:

    What a wonderful program, and how fortunate it is so close!

  • Lois says:

    How wonderful to have that so close to your home. Huxley is very fortunate to have a program like that, and it all sounds like so much fun. Kids don’t care about the weather the way adults do, they just have the energy and curiosity to want to be outside exploring.

  • Amanthus says:

    Wow, what a great post. I have been fascinated with Nordic outdoor schools since reading about them a couple years back. Cool to see an outdoor school happening in WNC. With our two year old we make it a point to get outside daily, regardless of the weather and have for most of his life. Maybe I will blog about all the helpful gear out there to protect our wee one’s from the elements. What is your favorite piece of gear?